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Fundraising ethics: Follow these 10 principles

Feb 10, 2020
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Most Kiwanians aren’t professional fundraisers. But Kiwanis clubs do raise money, often from members’ friends, neighbors, families and peers. So it’s important to follow best practices when asking for gifts. 
 
“Nothing is more important to an organization than their reputation,” says Ann Updegraff Spleth, chief operating officer of the Kiwanis Children’s Fund. “It is easy to slip up and make a mistake if you don’t have firm guiding principles in place.” 
 
The Kiwanis Children’s Fund adheres to the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Code of Ethical Principles and Standards and even incorporates it into the training it provides to volunteers. The Children’s Fund encourages all Kiwanians to following these fundraising principles: 
 
1. Always work to advance Kiwanis International’s mission of improving the world one child and one community at a time. 
 
2. Put the interest of Kiwanis ahead of your own. 
 
3. Behave honestly in all dealings. 
 
4. Obey the law. 
 
5. Avoid any conflicts of interest or even the appearance of such. 
 
6. Be open and transparent. 
 
7. Be truthful about the purpose of solicitations and fundraising results. 
 
8. Protect the confidentiality of donors’ information. 
 
9. Make sure the contributions are used the way the donor intended. 
 
10. Never disparage other organizations. 
 
Trust is the essential foundation for fundraising and philanthropy. People make financial investments in organizations that do what they say they will do with a donor’s money. 
 
“Thanks to all who work hard to keep Kiwanis’ reputation strong,” says Updegraff Spleth. “It is important for all of us to educate ourselves on proper philanthropic practices.” 
 
Contact the Kiwanis Children’s Fund if you have questions about fundraising principles or ethics at childrensfund@kiwanis.org or 1-800-KIWANIS, ext. 254.